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Thread: Man arrested in 17-year-old Lubbock cold case murder of young mother (Cynthia Joann Palacio, 21)

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  1. #1
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    Man arrested in 17-year-old Lubbock cold case murder of young mother (Cynthia Joann Palacio, 21)

    Andy Castillo, 57, is facing charges in the 17-year-old cold case murder of a young mother in Lubbock, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced in a news release on Friday.

    On July 15, 2003, Cynthia Joann Palacio, who was 21-years-old at the time, was found on a rural road in Southeast Lubbock County, partially nude and strangled, the release stated. Her last known whereabouts were unknown. Palacio is survived by her daughter, who was 2-years-old at the time of her death.

    Over the years, law enforcement has scrutinized evidence and investigated tips as they came in. A recent alert in CODIS ' the Combined DNA Index System ' led the Texas Rangers and the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office to focus their attention on Castillo, according to the release.

    Castillo was in the McLennan County Jail in Waco on unrelated criminal solicitation to commit child sexual assault charges when he was served with the arrest warrant in Palacio's case, the release stated.

    "One of our duties in law enforcement is to pursue every lead and seek justice for victims and their families, even when the case runs cold," DPS Director Steven McCraw stated in the release. "I'm proud of the diligent efforts by the Texas Rangers and the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office to solve this nearly two-decade-old case and find justice for a young woman who was brutally murdered."

    According to the release, the investigation into Palacio's death has been linked to another homicide ' the April 2004 killing of Linda Trevino Carbajal, which remains under investigation. Carbajal, who was 21 years old, was found strangled on a rural road in northern Lubbock County; she had suffered blunt force injuries.

  2. #2
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    Well, well, well...I remember this case well. This was one of two sets of killings that were going on in Lubbock about that time and shortly afterwards, and everyone was convinced that two different serial killers operating in this area. Rosendo Rodriguez was found to have killed at least two of the girls (I'm pretty sure he may have also killed Jennifer Lynn Wilkerson, but so far they haven't found her or proven it, and he was put to death already), but the young Hispanic girls that were found dead out on county roads were another possibly linked case, with Cynthia being one of those. I wonder if they will find out that he killed the other young women, or if those murders were unrelated?

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    Andy Castillo, 57, of Lubbock, has been housed in McLennan County Jail since January on several felony counts of criminal solicitation of aggravated sexual assault of a child and stalking, after he allegedly made online threats to Waco-area real estate agents and their children.

    “This shows how dangerous this can be, when you are out there working some of these case when you think you are just trying to arrest a sex buyer, but you don’t know you might have run up on a killer,” Sheriff Parnell McNamara said.
    Wait, what?

    Detective Joseph Scaramucci, the department’s head human trafficking detective, arrested Castillo for allegedly making a series of harrassing and sexually explicit phone calls targeting Waco real estate agents. During the investigation, Castillo was tied to similar offenses in several different states when he was arrested in his Lubbock apartment.

    While local detectives were investigating Castillo for possible connections to other crimes, authorities obtained a DNA sample from the man. Lubbock authorities also obtained a DNA sample when they assisted with the arrest before he was moved to the McLennan County Jail.

    Castillo’s DNA was entered into law enforcement databases and it reportedly matched DNA collected from the cold case of Cynthia Palacio, who was killed in Lubbock County on July 15, 2003.

    “This goes to show that gender-based violence, like sex buying or online threats, don’t just stop here,” Scaramucci said. “This man was just an ‘internet troll,’ which confirms that even seeming non-dangerous offenders can be cold blooded murderers.”
    In the years since her death, investigators have stated Palacio’s death may be tied to the April 2004 murder of Linda Trevino Carbajal, whose body was discovered on a rural dirt road in northern Lubbock County. Carbajal had suffered blunt force injuries and had been strangled.

    In 2014, Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief Deputy Doug Sutton told KCBD-TV that he believes the vehicle that dumped Palacio’s body may have been a pickup or a vehicle with heavy duty tires. Sutton also says it could be the same truck that dumped Linda Carbajal’s body one year later.

    Palacio and Carbajal were roommates, born in the same month of the same year, both 21 when they died, and both dumped on remote county roads, Sutton said at the time. Castillo was not charged Wednesday with Carbajal’s homicide.

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